I don’t want to come over all saintly but I do get a little annoyed that all people seem to ask my little girl about Christmas is ‘What Is Santa Going To Bring You’
I’m really pleased that her first Christmas at big school is quite traditional and I’m really conscious about giving her the same experiences I had when I was growing up. When she’s older she can make her own decisions about how she wants to spend Christmas.
We went to the Christingle Ceremony last week- a Church of Wales service organised with the Reverend and her school. To me it encompassed everything I think Christmas is all about-family, celebrating our children and the wonderful qualities and talents they have, joining with your community and thinking of others-after all in essence that’s what the story of the bible is about. Believer or non believer.
I wouldn’t say I was particularly religious but I do think the values of Christianity are crucial to a happy life. You don’t have to believe in God to want to live an honest and kind life. That’s what I want my little girl to grow up understanding.
So I’m struggling to find ways of ensuring she knows that Christmas isn’t about the presents you get.
After the Christingle service she was given the symbol of Christmas-an orange with a red ribbon, a candle and sweets on cocktail sticks. The sweets represent temptation. As I was driving home I thought ‘Those sweets will not last two minutes in our house’. But I thought I’d give my little girl the responsibility of looking after the orange until Christmas. One sweet went immediately but I’m really proud to say that five days later the rest are all still there and she checks it every day. For a three year old this shows amazing restraint-I’m really proud of her. I hope it teaches a little about being patient and not being greedy.
Being three she has just started ‘I want, I want’ and tonight she asked for a certain book for Christmas to which I replied ‘We don’t ask for what we want-Santa brings us what he thinks you’ll like’
And I know Santa has bought her way too much. and I’m sure that Santa must be relatively poor after all that shopping.
So what is Christmas if not all about the gifts- here are some of my ideas:
- Spending time together-go to church, go for a walk in a forest collecting holly or fir cones to spray gold, go to a pantomime or just play games together
- Christmas is about magical stories-read A Night Before Christmas together, read the story of the nativity, read Peppa Pig Christmas stories-whatever takes your fancy.
- Make your own decorations-baked sliced oranges in the oven, make a fairy from a doily, make felt decorations to hang. There’s loads of ideas on the internet for all ages.
- Do something kind-donate to charity, visit the animal centre with gifts, visit someone who’s not very well or make someone a handmade present
- Do all the fun things that make Christmas magical-talc footprints on the carpets, porridge oats left outside for Santa, carrot-milk and cookie left out the night before, the sound of jingle bells outside as the sleigh comes
- Go for a walk and enjoy the changing seasons. Christmas is a good time to get wrapped up warm and go outside.
- Get your little ones to help decorate cards and wrap presents.
- Give unwanted toys to charity shops
Don’t get me wrong-my little girl is totally spoilt-my house isn’t bare of decorations and I’m no bah humbug. I just don’t want to lose some of the more important parts of Christmas.